Thursday, June 14, 2012

Come One, Come All ... Circus Quilt #2?!

Right now you are thinking, if this is #2 then where is #1? Correct?! Well there is quite the story behind this beautiful 16 X 24" Art Quilt....

It all started in early May when I began work on an Art Quilt for a Craftster partner who liked the idea of Side Show circus acts. She had specifically mentioned the Tattooed Lady and the Strong Man. Well I created or well almost completed a beautiful quilt incorporating both those characters and then thought I would bring it to show and tell at my monthly quilt guild meeting.

Once I showed it off, a wonderful quilter or 10(!) told me there was no way I could give that quilt away and I needed to enter it into the upcoming San Diego Quilt Show. I came home and thought about it, and within a few hours decided I would in fact keep it and begin work on a new quilt to send to my partner... And above is what I made!

So first I printed on special fabric paper the four images of REAL early 1900's circus side show acts and took a little colored pencil to them to create a little depth. Then I just used scrap fabric I had purchased ... yes, they even sell the scraps! With them I created just simple log cabin blocks. The center strip was a piece of linen like fabric and I created a freezer paper stencil of the word "Circus" and painted it on with a sponge to add a little something to the background. I knew it wouldn't be seen in the long run but just didn't want "empty" space.
Then I used some scrap felt ... get the theme going on here?! I really like scraps! Ha, ha. I used that felt to cut out a strong man.... now by this point the entire top had been quilted and the binding added. I then pinned the felt man in place and appliqued him to the top.
I actually stitched him all together first and then added him as one big unit. With the dumbbell added last. Soon you will see this is different than the first, once I post it! Ha ha
I couldn't just add a simple label to the back so I made a lovely label with embroidery and just some simple fabric pen writing. I applied this after I has completed everything else... I think it was the most fulfilling thing to add.... It was like knowing it was coming to an end!
I wish I could tell you what my partner thought, but unfortunately I never heard from her after shipping... I hope she is well... I think she probably will really enjoy this item! And soon in the next week I will be happy to post the completed FIRST version of this quilt.... I just received the letter that it was ACCEPTED into the San Diego Quilt Show for this September! If you find yourself in the San Diego area September 13-15th please come check it out.... Post to come shortly! I Promise!


  1. That is an amazing strong man quilt, and I can't wait to see the tattooed lady--congrats on having it accepted into the quilt show! The whole composition of it is wonderful, you are a great designer and quilter! I'm sorry your partner didn't tell you how much she loves this...she has to love it...And the label--wow, again, let me use the word amazing! Great job all around, Rebecca!

  2. I am so glad you decided to NOT send that first quilt you made! Yes, congratulations on the quilt being accepted!!

    You are a great artist and I hope you will hear that of a lot of other people too!

    I'm making you a great new mini-art-quilt I promise! Hope that will retrieve your pleasure of swapping. It wasn't your work or your personality! Just bad luck!

    I so enjoy the pillow case, sewing basket, mug rug and pin cushion. Don't doubt your qualities Rebecca!!! I would swap with you any time, any swap!

  3. Thanks! I've been working on some beading but I am hoping to finish the original quilt by early next week and get it up and posted! You two are so wonderful!!! So blessed by my Craftster friends!